This Spring Baseball U with a little hesitation brought back their Futures program and it has been well worth the time and effort.
A team composed of players from Monmouth and Ocean county have made great strides in the past few months. It all started with 6 weeks of winter training that helped develop their skills with top flight instruction from current and former MLB players that make up the Baseball U staff.
The team started in late March and managed to go 4-4 while everyone got to know a bit more about each other and the staff learned everyones strenghts and weaknesses.
The team has shown improvement each tournament and that was our goal for them to learn the game and get better each and every day.
In the first tournament the team did not make the playoff round up at Diamond Nation. In their second event they made the playoffs and lost a tough game in round 1.
Their 3rd event had them at Ripken where they were beaten on a wild pitch by a tough All Star Baseball Academy group from PA. The team made the playoffs and got revenge in their first playoff game against the Bulls who had beaten them in round one up at Diamond Nation and also went on to win the Diamond Nation event. The team pulled away from the Bulls and advanced to yet another opponent who had beaten them the day earlier in the All Star Baseball Academy.
The Baseball U Futures who are composed of all Middle School 7th and 8th graders faced All Star Baseball Academy (Also won Diamond Nation Tournament) where they faced a varsity pitcher who they knocked out in the 3rd inning and went on to revenge their close loss a day earlier to advance to the finals where they lost by one run.
The team became the 1 seed in the next event through bracket play and lost a tough opening round game to Pro Source Elite a team they had beaten and had a no hitter through 5 innings up a Diamond Nation earlier in the year.
With progression showing every day the team then got themselves over the hump in the Tagem Ocean County Hitfest where they again earned the number one seed through bracket play by Mercy ruling the 9ers Baseball Club and then pulled away from Intensity Baseball. As the one seed they started the championship run by defeating Gallagher Baseball 10-2 putting them in the championship game against Pro Skills who just came off a 14-0 semi-final win themselves.
In the final Pro Skills jumped out to a first inning 2-0 lead but the U Futures jumped right back and kept adding runs defeating Pro Skills 11-2 to earn their first championship.
The team was told after the game that it was great that they got over the hump and won a championship but on the big scale of things that when they are in college they will hardly remember this championship and that the lessons learned in baseball so far are way more important than the championship.
After the game many team members went to the next field where the Baseball U 14U composed mostly of 13 year olds watched their other spring team defeat 9ers Baseball in the Championship game of the consolation bracket. This team too has shown improvement each and every week competing against 14U and a few 15U players while 95 percent of the team are 7th and 6th graders.
It is our belief that playing up always makes you a better player and challenges you for not only your future in baseball but in life as well. Baseball is a game of failure and you have to accept that. Failure will only make you stronger and able to adabpt to pressure in life when things get tough. We want our players to be challenged and it pushes a player to push themselves. We could very easily have put this group in a 13U age group but blowing out teams would have done nothing for them. When it comes down to it in the working world an employer wants a person that has not had nothing but sucess but one who has had his share of failure and learned how to beat it.